The top 5 male grooming mishaps – and how to avoid them

legsInjuries caused by male grooming treatments are on the rise. So what are the most common and how can you avoid them? 

1. BBQ’d skin

According a new survey by first4lawyers a whopping 20% of male grooming related claims come from men who’ve had a tanning bed trauma. By far the most dangerous treatment, men are four times as likely to sustain an injury from using a sunbed than women.

How to stay safe: “Sunbeds emit radiation similar to that in midday summer sunlight, with the same effects, so you should avoid them altogether,” says consultant Dermatologist Professor John Hawk bluntly. If his advice doesn’t convince you then maybe this stat from Cancer Research UK will: if you’re under 35 and are using sunbeds regularly your risk developing malignant melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – increases by 75%. Scary.

2. Fake tan foul ups

According to the survey men are eight times as likely to suffer a tragedy after a spray tan than women, partly because of their unfamiliarity with the process. The injuries men reported from tanning treatments varied from allergic reactions and skin rashes to dermatitis caused by the chemicals used in spray tans.

How to stay safe: “Spray tans are remarkably safe these days and reactions to them are very rare,” says self-tanning expert James Read who bronzes the bodies of a host of top celebrities. “If you have sensitive skin or have had reactions before, though, ask for a patch test first on the skin behind your ear on your inner arm and come back 24 hours later you’re your tan if everything’s okay.”

3. Treacherous trims

Visit a good hairdressers and having your barnet trimmed is no more dangerous than a trip to the supermarket. Stumble into a salon staffed by an Edward Scissorhands, however, and you’ll be searching for a lawyer, not to mention the tip of your left ear. According to the survey 13% of grooming-gone-wrong claims by men are hairdresser related.

How to stay safe: According to Simon Shaw, European Artistic Director at Wahl UK, the easiest way to avoid accidents is to treat a visit to your stylist as you would an appointment with your doctor. “The most important thing to do when you’re getting your hair cut is to listen to your barber or stylist,” he says. “Do exactly what they ask of you, for example tilting your head either side, and don’t work against them.” Switching off your phone so there are no sudden distractions helps too.

If you’re thinking of having a dye job then visit your hair salon for a patch test 48 hours beforehand to make sure you aren’t allergic to the dyes it uses.

4. Eyebrow raising accidents

Eyebrow shaping treatments are increasingly popular with men but threading – an ancient technique using a cotton thread to remove hairs –  takes skill, talent and practice. “If it’s not done by a qualified and skilled practitioner you can be left with broken and ingrown hairs, unnecessary pain, infected follicles and thin, uneven eyebrows which will take months to grow back,” warns Maria Dinopoulos from Pulse Laser Clinic in London’s Mayfair who specialize in threading.

How to stay safe: Avoid informal threading kiosks and look for a professional salon or clinic that will offer you a more personalised service. “An experienced threader will also work quickly and will ask you to stretch the skin to minimize discomfort,” says Dinopoulos. “If tweezers, eyebrow scissors or brushes are used, these should be sterilised between clients to eliminate infection and a lotion with soothing/antibacterial properties should be offered after the service.”

5. Wax disasters

Remarkably, 1 in 10 claim-related male grooming accidents accidents are connected with leg waxing. “That’s probably because the leg is a large area and if hot wax is applied it can cause a burn or heat rash breakout. It’s very painful and common mistake with therapists,” says Sarah Louisa O’Looney, author of Fresh, Clean Men: Advice for Men and Beauty Therapists.

How to stay safe: “To prevent problems ask for a small amount of wax product be applied to the inside of your wrist so you can test the temperature,” says O’Looney. To minimise sensitivity issues afterwards she recommends avoiding hot showers and baths, fragrances, and work-outs that make you sweat for 24 hours after waxing.

Spa InterContinental Pit-Stop treatments for men launch!

Today was quite a day for me – and for the lovely team at the Spa InterContinental at The InterContinental Park Lane  – because it was the official launch of the new range of men’s treatments we’ve been collaborating on.

As I said in my initial post about the project my real aim was to create treatments I’d actually like to have myself. Part of the deal, of course, was that I got to try them out too. As someone who’s not been all that keen on treatments in the past this was the biggest challenge. And yet, now that the collaboration has reached its climax, I find myself a total convert.

If you get chance to try any of the treatments highly recommend the Pre and Post-Business “Pit-Stops”, the Instant Energizer and Instant Relaxer (perfect for frequent travelers) and the Invigorating Back Treatment, which I was lucky enough to have just yesterday. Each is performed using Elemis products – one my favourite skincare ranges – and the smell of essential oils like lime, lavender and rosewood is a treat in itself.

As today was the official launch, the Spa had a whole host of journalists and bloggers in to sample what’s on offer and each left with a great selection of Elemis products to play with at home too. I really hope they enjoyed the treatments as much as I have.

Much of the enjoyment that’s come from this project has been is down to Radhika, the Spa Manager with whom I’ve worked closely, and her amazing team (pictured with me above) who are superbly professional without ever being stuffy. They really are some of the nicest therapists I’ve ever come across – and I’ve sampled a few that would terrify Voldemort. So good are they that they’ve even managed to rid me of my greatest spa fear of all – the notorious paper pants. In fact, I may even buy myself a box.

Treatments range from £65 to £180. For more information or to book one call +44 (0)20 7409 3131 or click here